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Iran: Supreme Leader Calls For Calm

Tehran, 12 July 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appealed for calm in the wake of this week's sudden resignation of Ayatollah Jalaledin Taheri, a prominent prayer leader in the central city of Isfahan. Khamenei said in a letter to Taheri, read out on state radio today, that one of the objectives of Iran's enemies is to provoke clashes among the population.

Khamenei asked the population in Isfahan to remain calm during today's regular prayer ceremonies, and urged that people refrain from using what he called "slogans."

Taheri announced his resignation earlier this week in a statement that criticized what he called the sacrifice of justice and freedom in Iran. He accused Iran's conservative appointed bodies of undermining the work of the elected parliament, and condemned restrictions on the press and the illegal imprisonment of dissidents.